Wishing on Willows by Katie Ganshert (book review)
From the back cover:
Does a second chance at life and love always involve surrender?
A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa, she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides.
So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight.
As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own.
With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances.
Wishing on Willows by Katie Ganshert is a not to be missed read. It is a great story that is full of romance, suspense, heartache, intrigue and questioning. The story follows the stories of Robin Price a young widow who is struggling with her grief from her husbands death, to being a young single mom, to being a business woman in a town where many businesses are falling apart. She is entrenched in her town and will fight to all ends to make sure that her business and her son's livelihood will live on. Then enters Ian McKay who comes to town with the intention of buying up property to develop a condo complex for families, all done with the mayor's approval. As the story progresses we see that Ian has his own demons and grief that he is dealing with. What comes about in the interplay of these two characters is a heart warming story of personal growth, love and understanding. It a story that allows for the acceptance of grief and the moving on with that grief still a part of your life but not allowing it to overwhelm your life.
I was enthralled with the characters and felt that Mrs. Ganshert did an excellent job in character development and that that was what makes this story such a huge success. The characterizations of all the characters (a few of whom I hope Mrs. Ganshert brings back in future novels) lends itself to the plot line and adds something to the book that may not have been there before. So often the lead character(s) steal the scenes from the book while making the minor characters not needed. However this was not the case in Wishing on Willows. All the characters from Robin and Ian to Caleb (Robin's son) to Mayor Ford to Mimi and many others offer just the right touch to this story.
I love that this story has a lesson. It teaches that no matter what God is in control. As humans we cannot control diseases, deaths, or what the future holds. What we can do is allow God to be in our lives and entrust that things will work out the way that they are supposed to. Just as Robin finally had to come to the realization. Life may not work out as she had envisioned it to, but there was a greater power on hand to see that life is the way that He intended it to be.
Disclaimer: I received this book free from WaterBrook Publishing as part of their "Blogging for Books" program. All opinions expressed are my own.